WASHINGTON, D.C.—If Osama bin Laden splits from Afghanistan, he would most
likely to wind up in one of the following regions:
Northwest Pakistan, hotbed of jihad training
Southern Philippines, but Muslim fundamentalists there deny links to bin Laden and Philippine
intelligence has been on top of jihad since first World Trade Center
Chechyna, but it would be difficult to avoid U.S. and Russian scrutiny.
Yemen, where he was born and where he has numerous relatives and
Iraq: Bin Laden has met with Iraqi intelligence officials in the past, and
Saddam Hussein might think he can use him to stir up rebellion in Egypt and
Saudi Arabia. Neoconservatives in the U.S. are pushing for a war that
reaches far beyond Afghanistan and takes in Iraq. Quoting Israeli
intelligence, some in Washington think it was Saddam Hussein who
masterminded the WTC attacks. And there is much speculation
in Washington that the U.S. military build-up will be deployed against Iraq.
Indonesia, where fundamentalists have been moutning demonstrations since
Some speculate bin Laden might go to Iran, but the Iranians have been at war
with Afghanistan, and Iran’s Shia Muslims are opposed to bin Laden and
the Taliban, who are Sunni. In Pakistan, bin Laden is associated with Muslim
groups which have killed Iranian diplomats.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on September 25, 2001